Thursday, October 22, 2009

Statement: Phillies Confirm How To Play Like Champs

You practically can feel the loving wealth, spreading around the streets of Philly. At a point when Philly cheese steaks aren’t as tasty or lovable as the Philadelphia Phillies, the rabid town has again went nuts, not over the Eagles or Michael Vick’s craze, not over the Sixers season-opener next week, and definitely not over the Flyers.

For now, a fervid and rambunctious crowd is crazy for the Phillies on a raucous Broad Street, where the uncontrollable fanatics are wilder than the Philly Phanatic, yet celebrating a back-to-back appearance in the World Series.

No wonder why there’s a crack in the Liberty Bell, when loud echoes are heard in an entire community that gives its heart to the luckiest franchise in Philly this century. No wonder why boos have turned into cheers the last few seasons.

So, on another frigid night at Citizens Bank Park, the large capacity erupted on nearly each homer crushed out of the hitters-friendly park. Much of the night, fans erupted spirit and sounded off with “Beat L.A.!” chants.

That’s technically all you need to know, describing a well-experienced and mettlesome core predicating the factual character of champs. After all, entering the season, the Phillies knew what it took.

Despite struggling and overcoming adversity, Philadelphia never quit and raised intensity a notch when producing wins suddenly became meaningful. Similar to last year, the Phillies informed to the entire world, where the champion banners belong. Similar to last year, they were overmatched for the Dodgers, having fun and precisely romped Los Angeles in five games and clinched the NLCS with a 4-games-to-1 differential.

Greater than clinching the National League Title, the Phillies are in good position to repeat a NL pennant in 13 years. If the Phillies happens to reach an agenda and writes a new chapter in the history books, it will be the first franchise to complete such an unforeseen achievement since the Cincinnati Reds defined tenacity, longevity and unity. It’s the same features, the Phillies constitutes greatly, staying together as a unified core and illustrated the significance of having chemistry.

Meanwhile, Joe Torre’s squad is still growing. The Dodgers have good chemistry inside the clubhouse, but a feeble rotation was a vital factor in a horrid letdown. Missing out at the non-waiver trade deadline badly blemished the Dodgers, like watching Rocky Balboa in a one-sided heavyweight fight, or similar to watching Vick single-handedly thrash defenders in the” Wildcat” formation and rush for all-purpose yards.

No need to take a guess, our country was earnestly awaiting Broadway vs. Hollywood, New York vs. Los Angeles, Steinbrenner vs. Torre, Yankees-Dodgers World Series. A newborn rivalry was waiting to produce fresh blood, but now it has the makings of an East Coast clash among two top-profile clubs with large influences on the market.

When it consists of two teams with dangerous sluggers, a pair of strikeout aces, an epic classic is bound to happen. For instance, take Ryan Howard, a legitimate big man who beautifully makes contact with a hard-throwing pitch to crush a massive shot, which normally goes the distances. He’s the high-profile hitter who emerged into a slugfest machine, depositing nearly all baseballs into the stands. Believed to be one of the purist hitters in the game, $5 foot-longs at Subway are a factor, lifting his performance level. That’s one way to enhance your performance level, right?

Not much of a factor in Game Five, Howard was greatly appreciated at the end of the night. Honored with the series Most Valuable Player award, and absorbed more chants and cheers, rather than boos when his endless homers devised momentum and intrepid. As the Phillies still believe with enough zest to win it all, Howard said excitedly, “we have one more step: then we got action”.

The cleverest general manager, Ruben Amaro Jr. also stood before a large capacity crowd thanking all the loyal fans for their support, when credit goes to him for assembling and bringing in proper necessities to contend for back-to-back jubilance. He was very successful in fortifying the rotation, realizing how shaky the bullpen was for much of the year. All his savvy arrangements paid off, and now Philadelphia advances to the World Series again as the Dodgers were hammered for the second straight year against a franchise that made smarter decisions and aggressively pursued in acquiring depth improving in the second half of the season.

Heavily, the front office put too much effort in retaining Manny Ramirez. In the offseason, Ned Colletti overacted, centered on continuous negotiations with baseball agent and manipulator Scott Boras, just to hold on to the Mannywood marketing product that has abruptly deteriorated. There’s not much left to see from a so-called slugging wannabe who damn-near contaminated an entire era as the masses never considered the Great Manny a bust.

But his numbers have plunged since the league banned the most despised hitter in the game for a 50-games suspension. In just 32 at-bats the wannabe or Manny Being a Dope Idiot had disappointing results, finishing with a homer, four RBI’s and six strikeouts. Just from staring at the stat sheet, I noticed he had more strikeouts than RBI’s.

If you ask me, I just can’t see a player who falsified the game returning in a blue uniform.

Hopeful days are approaching for the Dodgers. In a 10-4 rout, Los Angeles lost swaggering, but refused to leave without a fight. Despite losing, positive signs were presented when outfielder Andre Ethier and first baseman James Loney each belted solo shots. The youth of the Dodgers are developing an identity, but has yet risen to a premier level, needing to consolidate the pitching rotation.

A series summarized by dominant pitching, despite a substandard bullpen, the Phillies relied on the brilliant heroics of Cliff Lee, a left-handed ace who’s artistic throws, by far, is the greatest breaking ball in the game. Pedro Martinez was star-studded and kept the Dodgers’ bats quiet, a midseason acquisition that was very productive in timely situations.

After all, the Phillies aren’t a fluke. Other players shined in critical roles, burning the Dodger Dogs, mostly on hits soaring through the chilled skies of Philly. There was outfielder Jayson Werth, collecting five homers this postseason, and likely the biggest one of his career in the seventh inning when he lofted a solo shot.

There was center fielder Shane Victorino, the Flyin’ Hawaiian and pest in center, rarely dropping shots traveling his direction. But offensively, he came up big, nailing a two-run homer off the sensational Clayton Kershaw in the sixth inning to give the Phillies a commanding 8-3 lead.

That led to a Philly-tastic celebration, when players jived on the mound like big children. When Victorino caught a fly ball to record the final out, fireworks brighten the skies, just as the Phillies energized the crowd igniting a towel-swinging party. The champagne was chilled, and when they made way to the clubhouse the party started as teammates were drenched.

But on the other side, in the dugout, sat the helpless Dodgers upset on how it all ended somberly and stared at the celebration reflecting from a disappointing letdown. Overcoming the heartbreaking defeat when the young Jonathan Broxton blew the save in Game Four, they came into the game with a readiness mindset, but the Phillies weren’t a match, having all the weapons to overpower faith.

Theory is, the Phillies weren’t only smarter, but overlooked and overmatched, confirming to the world that they still are the experts to beat. In the City of Brotherly, champs reside and believe.